Stepping out on a Mid-term Revolution 2014

In the United States we're three weeks out from a mid-term election, which apparently outside of the special interest groups spending hundreds of millions of dollars to influence the outcome and those who've abandoned their responsibilities in Washington to get re-elected, the rest of country is barely aware of. Unlike Scotland where 90% of the population or more showed out to vote in their recent decision to remain part of the UK.
     In a democracy, the entire registered population has a right and a responsibility, to elect (hopefully) intelligent, honest, passionate, and empathetic women and men who will go into government to serve the interests of the country.  To understand the value of compromise and have a vision of the future that is equitable, sustainable and different from both the past and present. Without looking it up, I believe less than 10% of Americans approve of the work the congress and the president haven't done over the past two years, let alone …

A Culture of Fear

On a daily basis this spring of 2014 I far too often see a spirit of fear driving the attitudes and behavior in customers, co-workers and organizational leadership.  It's often not the larger global awareness causing concern regarding Putin's dubious expansion into Ukraine, the new outbreaks of Ebola, Al Qaeda threats, the Syrian war, Afghanistan or any other ongoing/emerging crisis far from home.  Most are too unaware of what's happening globally because our lives are too busy trying to survive. Paying attention requires too much additional learning and understanding which might require doing something.

     Some of this fear stems from a completely dysfunctional U.S. government bent on opposing anything the other party desires or focusing so tightly on extremely uneducated philosophies that at no level can they be trusted to do what's in the best interest of citizens.  The perception that our government only works for large corporations and those who've ea…

Daily Celebrations of Hope

I'd like to find the first corporate MBA who thought moving Black Friday to Thanksgiving day, pulling employees away from their families and ask them what they're doing today.  I'm sure it's not at a checkout counter in retail. Like the changing family structure in America our Thanksgiving occurs on three different days:  Last Sunday with one set of in-laws and siblings nearby, today with my other in-laws and Sunday with my father's family in Grand Rapids.  We won't see those in California, Washington, D.C. or Hawaii but have either already spoken with them or will shortly.  All three occasions we'll be missing my oldest son who's working at a homeless shelter in Kalamazoo.

     A family member recently said to me that we were going to have a "crappy Christmas" based on cash flow. My response was immediate.  If we're together it will be a wonderful Christmas because that's all that matters. I just don't have much sentiment f…

A Perfect Day

This exercise suggested by a friend/mentor would have been interesting begun more than 30 years ago and rewritten every five years without reviewing previous renditions.  In the recesses of memory there have been several perfect days in my life.  One wonders though whether those fleeting synapse impressions are accurate.  That's a different exploration as we consider what it might be like were that day to be tomorrow. It's not chronological, but activities that may vary and accepting the flow of what comes has become an important part of my personal definitions of happiness and success.

The day would begin without an alarm's noise before sunrise.  The exercise of grinding the coffee beans and the wavering odor of a  fresh coffee pot hints at hope. Waking daily to a mental song from history (another day's writing), a brief analysisensues accepting or rejecting relevance.  The first hours are spent in reading and writing.  Depending on the day that may be eithe…

Atlas Shrugged is Anti Human

I can't decide if the movie producers of Atlas Shrugged are making the films because they subscribe to Ayn Rand's pure hatred of  humanity and God. I suppose it could be the venture capitalists making the series hope that visually showing that truth might help some part of society see how hateful and evil her philosophy is.

  Lead producer John Aglialoro graduated from Temple University which was founded by a Philadelphia (my birth place) Minister Russel Conwell, a servant and mentor to many. The Hank Reardon trial lays out the new philosophy clearly.

     "There was a time when men believed that ‘the good’ was         a concept to be defined by a code of moral values and         that no man had the right to seek his good through the         violation of the rights of another."
   The dialogue is of course much longer, but one can not deny the implication of that single sentence.  Where once humanity was responsible for community, society and the greater good, th…

Is Leadership Dead?

My love for studying leadership developed over twenty years of community change, human development, and self employment while collaborating, building consensus and creating opportunity. The literature and thoughts regarding leadership are ongoing and continually reworked:   Transactional Leadership, Transformational Leadership, Authentic Leadership, Servant Leadership, Values-based Leadership, Strengths Based Leadership,Positive Leadership and on and on. Sometimes different labels are just a way to publish new books and measures of certain leader qualities but there are similarities across the spectrum.  Just different terminology with associated meanings.

     Certainly some part of my dissertation will contain a leadership element, just as the master's thesis did but not because we need more studies or data relating to leadership. As a species we've long ago crossed the knowledge threshold of what real leadership is and the impact potential for teams, organizations and c…

Ignoring Reality for Ignorant Ideology

Moving into this nicely brisk fall morning before sunrise I'm grateful for a faith which gives hope in these times of utter ignorance being paraded as something to be celebrated.  Wednesday while quoting rates to a home buyer I was told:

     "I'm not interesting in locking an interest rate because defaulting on the Federal debt will be        the best thing that ever happened to this country and rates will drop."
Exactly. As we all know historically when businesses or individuals go bankrupt, they immediately get higher credit scores and better interest rates on their next endeavors.  As someone who teaches economics (among other subjects) when I suggested that his vision wasn't going to be the result he stated "You watch too much CNN and obviously have no idea. I'll probably just pay cash anyway but good luck with your delusions."
    Self-analysis says I actually watch CNN less than 20 minutes a week, if that.  Between the three jobs, famil…